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Storage Box for Wet Panels

Storage Box for Wet Panels

I was recently asked why I paint on panels rather than stretched canvas.  The answer is that I use both but I do prefer panels for several reasons.  When I first started painting I always used stretched canvas mainly because I didn’t realize there was any other options.  I had just started painting on my own, without instruction, so I relied on what I found at the art supply store.  As I read more and studied painting I learned about panels as well as other supports for painting.

Storage Boxes for Wet Panels

Storage Boxes for Wet Panels

Ray-Mar Wet Panel Carrier

Ray-Mar Wet Panel Carrier

Stretched Canvas

Stretched Canvas

Canvas Panels

Canvas Panels

I have nothing against stretched canvas and I still use it mostly for larger paintings.  But when I began daily painting about 7 years ago I turned to panels out of necessity simply for the need to store so many wet paintings.

Stretched canvas is anywhere from 3/4″ – 2″ in depth while panels are about 1/8″ – 1/4″.  At that time I was painting something new every day so having a hundred wet oil paintings lying around the house did not work.  Storage became an issue.

With panels I devised a storage box system using plastic tubs and bolts where I could store many paintings in one storage box.  I made storage boxes for each size I use regularly – 8″x10″,  9″x12″, and 11″x14″.  These boxes allow me to store up to 25 paintings in one small space without concern of damage.  Oil paints can stay wet for several months so having a safe place to let them dry is important.

The other reason I prefer panels is  for their ease of use when traveling or painting en Plein air.  Painting outdoors presents its own set of challenges so having a way to transport wet canvas easily makes it more enticing to paint on location.  There are several good wet canvas carriers available on the market.  I prefer the Ray-Mar Plein Air Wet Panel Carrier.  They are not expensive and hold up well.  I have had mine for over 10 years and it’s as good today as when I first purchased it.  And they come in a variety of sizes too.

And lastly, just for the number of blank canvases I keep in my studio for use, it would be difficult to store so many stretched canvases.  They take up about 3 times as much space as panels.  So for me panels are the best option.  Plus I enjoy the firm support of the canvas as I am painting rather than the give you feel with stretched canvas.

Hope that makes sense and clears up that question.  Soon we will discuss the different types and brands of panels.  That is a whole other thing.

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